A nation is democratic to the extent that its citizens are involved, particularly at the community level. The confidence and competence to be involved must be gradually acquired through practice. It is for this reason that there should be gradually increasing opportunities for children to participate in any aspiring democracy, and particularly in those nations already convinced that they are democratic. With the growth of children’s rights we are beginning to see an increasing recognition of children’s abilities to speak for themselves. Regrettably, while children’s and youths’ participation does occur in different degrees around the world, it is often exploitative or frivolous.
This Report is organized in three main sections: 1) Introduction: Basic concepts and practices of participation.Characteristics and elements of participatory development. 2) Transformation strategies: what can be done to support the practice on a wider scale? 3) Programming, management, and policy issues: recommendations for UNICEF and its partners.
Broadly accepted international instruments specify the conditions under which intercountry adoption should be undertaken if the rights and best interests of the children concerned are to be protected and fully respected. The Digest identifies abuses of intercountry adoption as well as the measures required to combat such violations and to uphold 'best practice' in this sphere.
The eight essays in this volume argue that for both theoretical and practical reasons children need to be understood in their own right. They ask fundamental questions about the cultural and social variations in the perceptions we have of children and chidhood.
Even though all South Asian countries have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, there is as yet little awareness in the region of the importance of this Convention at various levels including policy planning, activism and legal reform in the on-going effort to achieve children's rights.
The third Innocenti Digest deals with the main issues connected with children and young people coming into conflict with the law and contact with the justice system. It looks at standards and problems from arrest through to the court hearing and sentencing, use of custodial measures and ways of avoiding the child’s unnecessary and counter-productive involvement with the formal justice system. It also covers prevention questions.
The second Innocenti Digest explores violence by and to children, using the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as its framework. The focus is on interpersonal violence, both intrafamilial and extrafamilial. Sexual abuse and exploitation are included in the discussion.
The first Innocenti Digest provides information on the recent and expanding phenomenon of ombudsmen/commissioners for children. It discusses the history of ombudswork and different patterns in the origin, development, mandate and status of the different types of ombudsman offices.
This paper investigates the dilemmas that arise in applying the ‘best interests’ principle - particularly as the term is used in Article 3(1) of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child - to concrete situations involving the treatment of children.
The 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is the world's most widely ratified international human rights treaty. It thus provides an ideal context in which to examine the relationship between different cultural values and the interntional community's oft-stated aspiration to achieve universal human rights standards. This volume focuses upon a widely accepted family law principle according to which "the best interests of the child" shall be "a primary consideration...in all actions concerning children." Through a combination of broad theoretical analyses and country-specific case studies the distinguished contributors demonstrate that cultural values are inevitably a major factor in the interpretation and application of many human rights norms.